What is asthma and how common is it?
Asthma is a chronic condition of the airways in the lungs and affects nearly seven million children under 18. It is the most common chronic illness among school-age children and a primary reason for missed school days.
Symptoms include gasping or shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing. Causes include allergies, environmental irritants such as second-hand smoke, and upper respiratory infections. Asthma symptoms and attacks often have triggers.
- upper respiratory infections
- cold air
- second-hand smoke
- bedding and bed linens
- cleaning products
- dust and dust mites
- pets (e.g., cat, dog), rodents and cockroaches